It has been a dizzying few weeks for anyone trying to keep up with the steady stream of government directives and related information involving COVID-19. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Response Act”), Governor Wolf’s Orders and guidance from the CDC, OSHA and the EEOC have pushed employers and their counsel into overdrive. Many of us have no problem remembering the basic content of these directives, but may have trouble retaining dates and numerical aspects of specific requirements. It is for those “numerically challenged” readers that this cheat sheet has been prepared. We hope you find it helpful.
1 = Number of full business days that “non-life sustaining” businesses have to comply with the Governor’s Order to close shop. The Order was issued on March 19 and will take effect at 12:01 am on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Today is the day that many Pennsylvania businesses are wrapping things up.
2 = When calculating the number of paid sick hours that a covered employer must provide to part-time employees, the employer must use the average number of hours worked by the employee over a two-week period. The Secretary of Labor has been directed to provide further guidance on this calculation (e.g. where scheduled hours fluctuate) within 15 days – by April 2, 2020.
6 = The CDC’s recommended distance (in feet) that employees should keep between each other, while also avoiding large gatherings and congregation settings (if the business is permitted to continue operations).
7 = Number of days following passage of the Response Act that the Secretary of Labor is to publish a Notice for employers to use that advises employees of their rights under the Act. The poster should be available online at www.dol.gov no later than March 25, 2020.
12 = Numbers of weeks of leave available to eligible employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – each of which may now be taken on a paid basis for child care emergency issues if certain conditions are met (see “200″ below).
14 = Number of days of quarantine recommend by CDC for any household where one member is infected with Covid-19.
15 = Number of days after enactment that the Response Act takes effect. The Act was passed on March 18, 2020 was originally expected to take effect on April 2, 2020 – however, recent information suggests that the Act may now take effect sooner.
18 = Number of months that COBRA continuation health coverage is available to qualifying beneficiaries who lose coverage due to termination of employment or reduction of hours. The Pennsylvania “Mini-COBRA” law applies to smaller employers with 2-19 employees and provides coverage for up to 9 months.
20 = Number of seconds that CDC recommends that employees take to wash their hands with soap – or with use of a hand sanitizer containing at least 60%-95% alcohol.
26 = Number of weeks of unemployment compensation benefits typically available for employees who have been laid off.
30 = Number of days that an employee must have been employed by an employer to qualify for the new paid FMLA leave benefit for child care emergencies under the Response Act.
50 = Minimum number of employees that must be laid off in order to trigger the 60-day advance notice requirement under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. However, the notice may be delayed due to “unforeseeable business conditions” – and no notice is required for layoffs lasting less than six months in duration. Several states have enacted “Mini-WARN” laws with more stringent requirements – but Pennsylvania has not.
80 = Number of hours of paid sick leave that are available under the Response Act to full-time employees of covered employers for qualifying reasons relating to COVID-19, quarantines, care for individuals subject to quarantine and child care emergencies. This is in addition to the 12 weeks of paid FMLA leave available for child care emergencies discussed above.
100.4 = Threshold body temperature at which the CDC recommends that employees stay home from work (if the employer is open for business) until they are free of fever, signs of fever and any other symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing or other symptom-altering medications (e.g. cough suppressants).
153 – Number of “industry groups” that are deemed “life-sustaining” and are permitted to continue operating under Governor Wolf’s March 19, 2020 Order.
200 ($) = Maximum daily pay for employees eligible for paid FMLA leave to care for a child (under 18) whose school or child care arrangement has been closed due to a public health emergency. The daily pay is to be 2/3 of the employee’s wages (maximum of $200/day) and a total maximum benefit of $10,000. The same $200 daily maximum applies to paid sick days taken to care for “an individual” subject to quarantine or a child whose school has closed or whose child care arrangement is unavailable due to a public health emergency. A $511/day maximum applies to sick days taken due to an employee’s quarantine or isolation as directed by a government entity or a health care provider – or due to seeking a medical diagnosis for symptoms of COVID-19.
500 = Private employers having fewer than 500 employees are subject to the Response Act’s paid sick leave and paid FMLA requirements. Note that related companies with common management and ownership, centralized control of employee relations and interrelated operations will likely be aggregated for purposes of coverage under the expanded FMLA benefit requirement. Whether aggregation of such entities applies for purposes of coverage under the paid sick leave portion of the Response Act is not yet entirely clear.
This is not the first time that a deadly pandemic has hit the U.S. – but it is the first time employers have had to balance so many regulatory requirements during such a difficult time. We hope this quick overview of some of the numbers involved helps you keep the multitude of directives straight. If you have any questions regarding any of the items above or your strategy for navigating this challenging time, please contact any member of our Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.